Hemiechinus auritus (Gmelin 1770) Long-Eared Hedgehog
Hebrew name: קיפוד חולות, kipod holot
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: VU (A1e) - Vulnerable
Distribution area: Coastal Plain from the Gaza Strip north to Caesarea; eastern Golan Heights, where it probably spread from the Syrian Desert (Mendelssohn & Yom-Tov 1988).
Historic distribution: Coastal Plain and northern Negev.
Typical Habitat: Sands, loess plains and light soils.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Habitat destruction.
2. Competitive exclusion by the Eastern hedgehog.
Population Size: Tens of thousands. The species is distributed over an area of more than 4500 km2. Males occupy a territory of about 5 hectares in urban settlements in the Coastal Plain, and females about 2.5 hectares, with a lot of overlapping between individual territories (Schoenfeld & Yom-Tov 1985).
Fluctuations in Population Size: Eastern hedgehogs spreading into the coastal sands are forcing out the long-eared hedgehog (Shoenfeld 1984). This expansion will probably continue and broaden as the number of settlements grows and agricultural areas expand, forcing out the long-eared hedgehog.
Isolation between Subpopulations: The eastern Golan population is small and isolated from the population in the Coastal Plain and the Negev.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. To urge the Public Works Council to build animal road underpasses, including culverts.
2. To declare a large sandy area reserve in the southern Coastal Plain (Nizzanim).